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Brokeback Mountain honoured by NY critics

Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain

Story by Jack Foley

CRITICS in New York have honoured Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain with three prizes, including best film, best director and best actor (Heath Ledger).

The triumph comes quickly after critics in LA also named the ‘gay western’ best film at their annual prize-giving.

“A lot of people among critics are responding to it because it is so daring,” explained Gene Seymour, chairman of the New York Film Critics’ Circle, who announced the awards.

“It has all the sweep of what we have come to know as a major Hollywood romance, but it carries within it such a grand departure,” he added, referring to the love story between two male cowboys that remains its focal point.

Brokeback Mountain has also been hailed by critics in Boston, making it a strong contender at the Oscars and a major favourite to scoop plenty of Golden Globe nominations when they are announced this week.

The New York critics also awarded Reese Witherspoon with the best actress prize for her role in the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line.

While best supporting actor and actress were won by William Hurt and Maria Bello respectively for their roles in A History of Violence – which also fared well among critics in LA.

Ang Lee was also named best director by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures on Monday (December 12, 2005).